Photo Credit: Screenshot of a Fox News video on YouTube
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking to reporters, June 24, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday it was up to Israel to decide whether to impose its sovereignty on the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

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“We unveiled a peace vision a few months ago, and we’re continuing to work down that path,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Dept. “The decisions about Israel extending sovereignty towards these places are decisions for the Israelis to make. We are talking to all of the countries in the region about how it is we can manage this process.”

“I regret only that the Palestinian Authority has refused to participate. They simply have rejected this out of hand. We simply ask that they come to the negotiating table based on what’s outlined in that vision for peace, and they have chosen not to,” Pompeo said.

“What we’ve asked for is… for Israel and the Palestinian people to come to the table to negotiate a path forward and to find a resolution to this decades-long challenge. I remain hopeful that in the coming weeks, we can begin to make real progress towards achieving that,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, Germany, Belgium France, Estonia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Norway called on Israel to abandon its plan for imposing its sovereignty over an estimated 30% of Judea and Samaria, in a message delivered by Germany at a virtual meeting of seven past and present European members of the United Nations Security Council.

“We share the grave concerns expressed by the Secretary General in his latest report on the stated intention of the Government of Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and we strongly echo his call on Israel to abandon its annexation plans,” said the statement of the seven states. “We also share the Secretary General’s assessment that if any Israeli annexation of the Occupied West Bank – however big or small – is implemented, it would constitute a clear violation of international law, including the UN Charter, as well as the UN Security Council resolutions. It would severely undermine the renewal of negotiations, the possibility to reach a two-State solution acceptable to both parties, and the prospect of a viable Palestinian State. Any such unilateral step would also weaken efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security.”

It should be noted that any official reprimand or sanctions issued by the EU must have the unanimous support of the member states, and several EU members currently do not object to the Israeli government’s sovereignty move expected on July 1.

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